Refashion #1: Chinos - Maternity Dress

The Refashioners

There have been some really inspiring creations so far for this year’s Refashioners challenge; just looking at #therefashioners2018 on Instagram brings up a load of amazing upcycles from some very creative sewers.

I’ve already had a go myself, upcycling a man’s jumper into a cardigan for me, and I wanted to share my next refashion with you all too.

dress upcycle

My Inspiration 


As a  pregnant lady, I’m finding it increasingly hard to get clothes that fit, don’t make me look like I’m wearing a tent, and have some style to them. I’ve been living in jersey and stretchy fabrics over the last few weeks, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change. 

What I’ve really been wanting to wear is a simple shift dress, that skims my body without being overly clingy and is is easy to wear. After all, it should be easy enough to find something that’s comfy without being too pyjama-like shouldnt’ it? 

I have found some lovely examples of these kinds of dresses on the high street and on designer’s sites, but unfortunately, none are very bump-friendly. I also really like the colour-block effect that many of these sorts of dresses have, so I decided to have a go at another refashion.

The Original 

chino refashion

My husband has just cleared out his wardrobe and we have a big bag of items going to charity, so I raided them in search of some suitable fabric to use for my dress - I ended up choosing two pairs of chinos.  

If you’ve not worked with it before, chino fabric is really nice to sew. It presses well, doesn’t slip and slide in the machine, and it’s sturdy enough to withstand some unpicking and alteration. However, with no give or stretch in the fabric at all, I knew that fitting a dress to my current body shape might be a bit difficult. 

What I Did

For the neckline, I decided to go for a simple v, with a facing on the inside, with a wide, a-line effect skirt that would skim my bump and hit just above the knee. I put a zip in the back so that I could get in and out of it, and I used big strips of fabric cut from each pair of trousers to create the effect of stripes, or colour-blocking. 

maternity -refashioners

My original idea was to use mainly one colour trouser, with just a couple of thinner stripes at different places in the dress, however, there wasn’t quite enough material to do that, so the stripes are more even.

Overall, this dress feels so comfortable, and I think it’s fairly flattering. I also think it’s one I could wear after my pregnancy too, as the dress would look intentionally oversized. 


I love the challenge of refashioning, trying to make something I’ll love out of something completely different, and I can’t wait to check out some more creations on Instagram before the deadline at the end of the month. Let me know what you think!